Nick and I had a photo shoot the other night for a magazine in Boston, who had rather suddenly decided to feature Love and Radio in their July issue (“So, I need to send them the photos . . . tonight,” the photographer said).
Growing up the daughter of a photographer, you’d think I’d be pretty accustomed to photo shoots. Just a little camera, nothing to be afraid of; hell, I’ve done photo shoots for other people, and have struggled myself with getting others to relax — and I know it happens, I know they eventually do. I shouldn’t worry about the photographer worrying that I won’t relax, and I shouldn’t worry that I’ll keep worrying that I won’t relax (and thereby not relax) because eventually, y’know, I’ll just relax. You’d think I’d just relax immediately, with this comforting certainty so few can enjoy.
But for some reason, when there is a professional in front of me with a fancy lens and a prop of an old timey radio or whatever at my feet, Barbie-esque rigor mortis sets in. I’m all limbs.
“Whoa,” the photographer said. “Could you look a little less . . . terrified?”
“I’m . . . I’m sorry. Uh . . . ”
“Yeah, no. Relax. Just relax.”
“Should I put my arm . . . no, that doesn’t work.”
“Can you lean on that thing?”
“That’s . . . I don’t know, that looks dangerous.”
“No no, it’s okay, it’s okay.”
“I don’t know, I think . . . this kind of works, maybe? The problem is my arms.”
“Uh, well, I have no idea what to do with them.”
“Try putting that one on the ladder there. Yeah.”
Pause. “You still look terrified. Look, just relax.”
The sun would set soon, and we had one hundred or so to go. “I’m getting her a beer,” Nick said.